Fed Up & Trapped.......

After 46 years and lots of ups and downs I've finally gotten smart enough to accept there was nothing, NOTHING I could have done to have made this marriage any better or worse. I finally accept that my husband is a total narcissist and the only one who can change him is him. He had an unpleasant childhood, not unlike most, and a totally unfeeling mother who was never there for him. Her life always was and still is only about her. They tell men to look at their significant others mother to see what she will eventually be like but I found out the hard way that it applies to woment as well. Especially when it's a single mom.

I stood by him and worked hard at giving him what he never had as a child and worked overtime to support him in whatever he wanted to do. I was never able to depend on him and always excused it with, "he doesn't know any better, it's because of the damage his mother did." Yes, I made my own hell and that doesn't make me happy either. Why can't we learn these things when we're young enough to pick up the pieces and move on to a better, more fulfilling life.

I'm 66 years old, marginal health and some physical limitations and right now feeling totally defeated. This is not the redheaded Irishman everyone has always known and seen. How do I get out of this black hole and accept that what I have, with a lot of effort, can be better? The only love I feel is from my cats and I did finally get that I was taking in strays (not a hoarder but I do have 6) to get some of what should be in my marriage.

Believe it or not there has not even be any physical intimacy in over 30 years and that was by his choice. You have no idea how many times I've wondered if he isn't a closeted gay and too insecure to be honest. That I could understand and accept. It's the not knowing why that is tearing me apart. What do I focus on to get through this? Am I the only one this has happened too? I don't even feel like a woman anymore.....I've spent our whole marriage playing both roles....fighting the battles, raising our son, taking charge of the finances, negotiating loans, mortgages, etc. and taking care of the home.

I'm exhausted and need some insight, some words of encouragment.


lexxicat lexxicat 66-70, F 6 Responses Mar 22, 2010

Your Response


Like me, Barbeem, you need to live life for yourself now. Consider yourself more blessed than me as you are not living under the same roof with him. Begin to think in terms of self, of me, of I and not him, us or we. You have the distance I wish I could afford so rejoice in it and make it the foundation of your new beginning. Do not think in terms of "living alone" but of building a life for me. Renew some old dreams you thought gone forever, renew some friendships or build new ones.

Take up a new interest and hobby or learn a new talent. Join a woman's group who do things together - play cards, go to movies, meet for dinners or live shows. Reconnect with the person you once were and become her friends again. She isn't dead she is simply hibernating and it's time for her to rise again and be reborn.

One of the most difficult things for me to have learned was to do for me, make me my number 1 priority. I had spent my whole life living for others as that is what women our age were taught to do but that is ancient history and it's time to live in the present.

Live for yourself and keep in touch so we can support each other on our journey.


I too feel your pain. Married 35 years. About 5 years ago we bought a home in Fl I stayed in NJ ~ taking care of my parents. He went permanently to Fl. I visit for a few months. This year was an eye opening experience. Now I can't do anything right. He tells me he can't take this "****" anymore. I wonder what he is talking about. He stays out all night, bar to bar. Hugs & kisses all the barmaids & any other woman around. Doesn't ever touch me. Lives in a separate room. I don't know how much longer I can take this. Problem is ~ if we divorce I would be paying him, he would get part of my 403B. I could live in NJ while he lives in Fl. & do nothing about the marriage. I can't stop crying because of how he has changed. I keep reminding myself that I can't change him. I am entitled to my opinion, but he is also entitled to his own. But I start to panic when I know he's running around & I am sitting at home. He has always been controlling. I need to get myself together or I am going to make myself sick. Then he would inherit everything. Anyone out there could give me advise ~ I keep praying to God to help me, but I am stuck

Unfortunately the classes did not get enough students to make them a go. BUT, I did, in October, start a writers group for those who are "aspiring" and not yet published. Because of the holidays it has been slow going but our 3rd meeting is this Wednesday and I'm confident that it will get better as the year progresses.

The pain still exists and for all of us in this situation I'm sure it will never change. I'm searching for a support group that will help me completely disengage emotionally from this man. There are nights I go to bed and pray I don't wake up. But then I think about the cats and know this man will only take care of them if it's convenient for him. Like children they must be protected. I have vowed to not take in any more strays but to find healthy, caring & loving homes for them and to ultimately have no more than one. My son will take one but he's not able to take any more.

I never thought I'd live long enough to wish I were cold hearted toward someone but I do wish it for him. A part of me pity's him because he doesn't have a clue how he will end his days on this earth but then I remind myself that he will reap what he has sown.

He became a carbon copy of what raised him and many say that is the fate of children raised by abusive parents. I, however, am here to tell you that is far from the truth. Are we damaged by our abuse in childhood? Absolutely! But there is a point at which we have a choice, to become what raised us or to rise above it and become better. Hypothetical opinion? Keep reading:

I was 7 years old when my biological father first raped me. Five years later I was raped by the boy next door and his mother and mine sat at our kitchen table and decided they couldn't destroy his future by doing anything about it. My mother said I was young and would get over it. That rape brought back the vivid memory of what my father did to me, but only the memory of that first time. To this day I have no memory of the next 5 years.

I told my mother what he had done to me and she informed me that if I said anything they would kick him our of the service and she had 2 other daughters to think of. How would they be able to support us? I had to keep quiet. At 12 years old I had to grow up and make adult decisions. The decision? To become better than what were raising me.

The rapes never stopped and my mother never did anything to protect me. I learned first hand what the people in concentration camps had to endure. Two weeks before I got married I moved back into their home as my lease ran out. That first night I woke up with my father performing oral sex on me. I told him if he ever came near me again I would cut it off and out so he would never rape anyone else again.

When my son was 4 years old I became so angry with him that I hit him. It was the first and last time. It felt so good and my hand went back to hit him again when I stopped in terror. The thought came into my head that abused childrent become abusive parents and I knew the pattern would stop right there. I told my son I was very mad at him and he needed to go to his room until I calmed down and we would talk. That is how it went for the rest of his childhood. I would say, "Go to your room Keith until I call you," he would and then we would discuss what the problem was and what we were going to do to make sure it didn't happen again.

Adults can choose to be better than what raised them but most, especially men, chose not to. They deny they are damaged in any way and they go on to distroy the lives of those who love them. Fortunately, he wasn't much of a father and absent in spirit so I was basically the only parent my son had.

I waited too long to escape my self inflicted hell, mainly because I cared too much and felt because I had walked in his shoes I could help him. I couldn't because he didn't want to be helped. I beg all young women who are living with men like this to run not walk to the nearest exit. They will NEVER change and you will lose your life in the most important of ways.

I am taking charge now, but how much better for me and for my son had I done so much sooner. My son is 46 and afraid of having a relationship for fear it will be the way mine was. That is heartbreaking for a mother to hear.



Can't believe I've found someone in very much the same situation as me. I too have been married for 46 years and feel so trapped. I feel desperate to get away from him but feel trapped by age and years we have been married. I have four children who are basically my life - I adore them and they are good children. They love their father and know there are problems but I feel trapped by their love for him also. I feel like a rabbit caught in headlights - I do not know how to go about getting out of this nightmare and it's been going on for years. What is so awful now is that I am constantly in a state of intense guilt due to rowing, saying really nasty things and constantly miserable.

I made a move today in the very direction I knew I had to go and the very one you urged me to take. I love to write and have put it on the back burner for so long I'd almost lost the desire. As fate would have it I received a mailing from a local school that offers classes in creative writing, getting published & finding an agent. I called and signed up for, not 1 but 2!! I got off the phone in a state of shock..........I'm actually going to do something for ME. I feel like a giddy school girl and I know you can understand that. I emailed my son about it and his response was, "it's about damn time!" ;-)

I feel your pain lexxicat. I am a little younger in the game but sounds like a very simular situation. I have been married 21 yrs to a man who was very self centered and didn't work half the time. I gave a 110% and was a good wife. He had it made but he didn't trust me. one night he had a mental breakdown and beat me up. First and last time. I had grown angry and resentful. My message to you is how wonderful freedom is. I hate what happened and I tried everything to make my marriage work but now that i am out i am not looking back. Think of all the years you have spent trying to make someone else happy and all the effort. When is it your time? even if you don't leave him start doing some of the things you damn well please. take a trip with girlfriends, sisters. find a way do find some innerpeace. it is time.